Varicose Veins

healthy vein versus varicose vein. varicose vein shows dilated vein, abnormal flow, and unhealthy valves.
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    Varicose veins are usually bulging veins running just beneath your skin surface. The veins often appear on the legs and feet. Development occurs when the valve in the veins stops functioning properly and allows blood backflow. Superficial varicose veins (spider veins) are visible swollen and twisted veins surrounded by flooded capillaries patches. Getting varicose veins treatment can bring relief to the pain.

    Deep varicose veins are not visible but tend to cause aching or swelling throughout the affected limb, and sometimes, blood clots can develop. When inflamed, these veins become tender to touch. They also impede blood flow causing itchy skin, aching, and swollen ankles in the affected limb. In severe cases, these veins may rupture, leading to varicose ulcers on the skin. Besides the visibly swollen veins, on rare occasions, interior leg veins can also become varicose.

    It’s best to get medical care in the early stages of varicose veins and avoid further damages with preventative care.

    Symptoms of Varicose Veins

    This condition is relatively common, especially for individuals with a family with a history of the condition. The disorder affects men and women of any age but frequently affects women in their childbearing years and the elderly. In the United States, the condition affects about 23 percent of all Americans. As mentioned, individuals with varicose veins do not have physical symptoms. However, most individuals have concerns related to the cosmetic appearance of these veins.

    The veins have a blue or dark purple color, making them visible on your skin. The veins appear bulging or twisted, like cords on your feet. Sometimes, painful signs and symptoms also develop. These signs are characterized by

    • A heavy or achy feeling in your feet
    • Throbbing, burning, muscle cramping in your lower legs
    • Itching in your veins
    • Worsening pain, especially after standing or sitting for an extended period
    • Skin discoloration on the affected limb
    • Swelling in the legs
    • Leg cramps at rest, especially at night

    Spider veins have a striking resemblance to the varicose veins, but they are smaller. They are also found close to the skin and often have a blue or red color. While the varicose veins primarily affect the feet, they can also affect other parts of the body.

    What Causes Varicose Veins?

    Varicose veins mainly occur when the valve inside the veins fails to function appropriately. Healthy veins allow blood to flow smoothly back to the heart. The blood backflow is prevented by small valves that open and close to allow the blood to flow forward. In some instances, the weakness or absence of the veins causes the blood to flow backward. The blood collects in the vein, causing it to be swollen/enlarged.

    In other scenarios, the vein wall weakness can also cause the pooling of blood. When the veins become weak, they are unable to push blood back to the heart. This causes the blood volume in the blood vessels to increase, leading to varicose veins. Some of the other less common causes include;

    • Inflammation of the veins (phlebitis)
    • Congenital abnormalities of the veins
    • Blood clots and other conditions that may obstruct the flow of blood in the veins

    Varicose Veins – Risk Factors

    While varicose veins can affect both men and women at any stage of life, the following factors increase your risk of developing this condition.

    Varicose vein risk increases with age. As we age, the valves in the veins become weak. The wear and tear will eventually allow the blood to leak back into the vein where it collects instead of flowing upwards to the heart.

    Various studies show that women are more susceptible to varicose veins than men are. Hormonal changes during pregnancy or before the menstrual period cause the veins’ walls to relax, leading to blood backflow. Additionally, hormone treatment such as birth control pills can also increase your susceptibility to this condition.

    The hormonal changes during pregnancy can also increase the risk for varicose veins. When you become pregnant, the blood volume in the body increases to help support the growing fetus. Unfortunately, the increased blood might be too much for your veins to push back to the heart from your feet, resulting in enlarged veins.

    A sedentary lifestyle that involves standing or sitting for an extended period without movement or exercising may lead to improper blood circulation.

    Being overweight exerts too much pressure on the veins, making it hard for them to push the blood to your heart.

    Research also shows that individuals from a family with a history of varicose veins have an increased chance of contracting the condition.

    ultrasound diagnostic testing

    Varicose Veins – Diagnosis

    The diagnosis is usually simple since it is easily visible. The doctor will also perform a physical examination to assess the extent of the condition. Here, your physician may also ask you to describe any aching and pain in your limb. You may also need an ultrasound test to check how the veins are functioning or a blood clot restricting the blood flow. Another standard test is the plethysmography test that checks how the affected veins work by measuring the blood that flows through the veins.

    Varicose Veins Complications

    Although rare, varicose veins complications can also arise. Some of the common complications include;

    • Non-healing Ulcers

    Sometimes, varicose veins lead to painful ulcers that form on the skin near the affected veins and ankles. Before forming the ulcer, you will note a discolored spot that deteriorates to become a painful non-healing ulcer. In case you suspect the formation of an ulcer, seek medical intervention immediately.

    • Blood Clots

    Chronic inflammation in your legs warrants medical attention as it most often indicates a blood clot. Blood clots (Thrombus) are dangerous as they can move up the veins, causing a stroke. When the blood pools in the veins, the affected region becomes painful and swells.

    • Bleeding

    When the pressure builds up in the veins close to the skin, they eventually burst, causing minor bleeding. While the skin breakout may be minor, seeking medical attention is crucial to prevent further complications.

    Varicose Veins Treatment 

    Treatment is crucial to ease pain and discomfort and address other swelling and leg ulcers. Other patients may also want varicose vein treatments to remove the rather unsightly varicose veins.

    varicose vein treatment before and after

    In mild cases, doctors are rather conservative when treating varicose veins. Your doctor will advise you to make lifestyle changes rather than undergoing aggressive treatments. The following lifestyle changes can help prevent the condition from worsening.

    • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods without any movement
    • Lose or maintain a healthy weight
    • Regular exercise to improve blood circulation
    • Elevating your legs, especially after a long day at work

    Wearing special compression stockings can also help in managing varicose veins. The compression socks exert enough pressure on the leg, allowing the blood to flow easily to the heart. The socks also help to decrease swelling. The compression stockings are available in different sizes and compression levels. Your doctor will assist you in picking the model that suits your needs.

    Using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help in alleviating the occasional pain and swelling caused by varicose veins. However, if you notice that the skin around the varicose vein is becoming discolored or the pain persists without an outwards sign, contact your doctor as this could mean that a deep vein is affected.

    Medical procedures are necessary, especially for the advanced varicose veins. The most common medical procedures include:

    • Ligation and stripping

    Litigation is a minimally invasive procedure that helps in treating varicose veins. The doctor will make two incisions during the procedure, one at the target vein and the other further down at your ankle or knee. The doctor then seals the top of the vein, inserts a thin, flexible wire through the vein’s bottom, and then pulls the wire out. The procedure usually does not require a hospital stay, and the patient often recovers within a few days.

    • Sclerotherapy

    Sclerotherapy is another standard procedure for treating varicose veins. The procedure involves injecting a special chemical into the small and medium-sized varicose veins. This chemical usually scars and closes the problematic veins.

    • Radiofrequency ablation

    In Radiofrequency ablation, the doctor will make a small incision above or below the knee with the help of an ultrasound scan. Next, the doctor will insert a probe into the catheter that creates radiofrequency energy. The radiofrequency energy creates heat that heats the vein to collapse the walls. The procedure helps in closing the vein effectively. This method is usually recommended for extensive varicose veins and is performed with local anesthesia.

    • Endovenous laser treatment

    Here the doctor usually inserts a catheter into the patient’s vein. The catheter emits laser beams that deliver short energy bursts which heat and seal the affected vein. An ultrasound scan helps the doctor to thread the laser up the vein to ensure that the entire vein closes off. Similar to Radiofrequency ablation, the procedure is also performed with local anesthesia.

    • Transilluminated powered phlebectomy

    A special light (endoscopic transilluminator) is threaded through son incision made into the skin, allowing the doctor to see the veins that need to be removed. The doctor then uses a suction device to cut and remove the target veins. The procedure requires the use of a local or general anesthetic. It may also cause some bruising or bleeding, but it offers excellent results, especially for extensive varicose veins.

    Varicose Veins Prevention

    Admittedly, currently, no proven methods prevent varicose veins ultimately. However, improving muscle tone performance and blood circulation can help reduce the risk of developing the condition and prevent the progression of the existing conditions. The following tips should also help reduce the pain and discomfort from varicose veins at your home’s comfort.

    Exercise plays a significant role in boosting your blood circulation. The veins depend on the muscle contractions to push the blood up toward the heart. Regular workouts help tone these muscles, improving the blood flow.

    If you are overweight or obese, you put too much stress on your legs, restricting blood circulation. Losing weight helps to prevent the formation of varicose veins. Maintaining the right weight also helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

    Sitting at your computer desks for long hours or staying on your legs for an extended period also puts you at an increased risk of varicose veins. Taking a break after every thirty minutes will help your muscles to move blood up towards your heart.

    Tight clothes can put too much pressure on your legs, worsening your condition. Loose clothes allow for optimal blood circulation, which helps in the removal of varicose veins.

    Elevating your feet will help the blood flow from your legs to the heart, thanks to the gravity force. Ensure that you elevate your feet about 20 minutes every day, especially for individuals whose work involves long hours of standing or sitting.

    Wearing a support pantyhose is a great preventive measure to prevent the varicose veins from forming. While these socks do not put as much pressure as the compression socks, they help blood circulation, keeping the condition at bay. Wearing a clean pair of compression socks every day will also prevent the formation or worsening of the condition. These socks put pressure on the ankle and lower leg, helping the blood to move up towards your heart.

    spider veins before and after

    Treatments for Varicose Veins

    Unlike varicose veins, spider veins are harmless. Most people seek spider veins treatment for cosmetic reasons. However, treatment will also alleviate the mild yet persistent discomfort this condition sometimes causes.

    Varicose Veins Treatment

    Why Pedes Orange County?

    With the advancement of medical technology, many treatment clinics offer remedies to manage varicose veins. Unfortunately, simply offering these remedies does not guarantee quality results. At Pedes Orange County center, our primary goal is to offer the best quality and reliable treatment for eliminating the appearance of both varicose and spider veins.

    Our doctors constantly update our medical knowledge by integrating new techniques and techniques to ensure the very best. We believe that our unique mixture of passion, vast experience, and past results makes our clinic a prime source of quality service that improves your life. Moreover, our certified physicians are not the only specialists in clearing varicose veins but also treat the entire range of vascular disorders. Contact us today to schedule a screening appointment to get the reliable, tested, and compassionate care that you deserve.

    What to Expect from Your Visit to Pedes



    Your treatment will begin with an ultrasound examination of your veins, arteries, or both, in your legs to diagnose the presence and extent of the disease. Your test results will be immediately available to review with the doctor.